MORE and more disabled children are taking a step towards a brighter future thanks to a therapy centre that celebrated over 75,000 hours of physiotherapy this week.

The goal of the Footsteps Centre in Dorchester upon Thames is to help children to walk using physiotherapy. The centre, which was founded in 2008, is supported by Footsteps Foundation charity which has raised over £1.2 million to date.

Centre manager, Kirsty Dawson said: “We have numerous families who have, for example, been told that their child will never walk, but the power of intensive physiotherapy, expert therapists, amazing equipment, all in conjunction with a child-friendly atmosphere has worked wonders for scores of children and helped them, and continue to help them, achieve their potential.

“Our wonderful children work so hard to achieve their inch stones and milestones. We are delighted to have met this enormous target of providing 75,000 hours of life-changing therapy to these special children from the region and nationwide, and to have raised so much money to help them.”

The Footsteps Centre in Dorchester uses ‘spider therapy’, which sees the use of a number of elastic ropes forming a ‘spider web’ which holds each child in the perfect posture. They also use more traditional equipment, including balls, rolls, trampolines, and ladders.

Children travel from miles around to receive treatment at Footsteps, Staff offer three-week programs for those travelling across the UK, as many do not have access to this specialised care through the NHS.

More than 100 children are now being helped by the centre. Funding can be provided for families earning less than £65,000 per year, and applications for grants can be found on the centre's website.

The Footstep Foundation provides the centre with core costs, as they are located in the same building as the centre.

This allows it to channel half of any profit made by the centre back in to the charity to provide funding for families in need.

Many parents have praised the impact that the centre has had on their children.

Katie, mum of ten-year-old Ronnie Jacobs from Banbury said: “Ronnie is walking much more upright, with more confidence and faster with sticks and he now lifts his feet up while walking instead of dragging them.”

Richard Towers, from Wheatley, has been bringing his twelve-year-old son Oscar to the Footsteps Centre 132 days a year.

He said: “It is an enormous commitment but Oscar has all the time shown steady progress and recently learnt to walk. Footsteps is the greatest gift we can give Oscar to help him on his life’s journey.”

To provide the support, the foundation needs £250,000 per year. Those wishing to donate or find out more about the services they offer can do so online at